The Villa Influence: From Black’s Bizarre Selections to Effort Issues Against the Cherries

It is the first time I have gone to a game with absolutely no expectations. I had completely resigned myself to relegation and anything other than a loss would have been a bonus. I was determined to not get upset over our impending drop because there would be no point in crying about it. It’s been coming for a long time and the best way to go out would be to take it like a man.

I should be glad that we have another day of safety, but it is just prolonging the misery.

This season has left me in a state of emptiness. At the start of the season, I thought everything would work itself out, but here we are. I don’t know how to explain it really; football shouldn’t affect you this much should it?

Once again, it was the Aston Villa fans that regained the little dignity the club has left, after it has been destroyed by Randy Lerner. There is no better feeling than being at Villa Park when the fans join together to bellow out a rendition of Holte Enders in the Sky. Whether we are in the Premier League, Championship, winning or losing, that feeling will never change.

No matter what, Villa till I die.

Starting XI Verdict:

Well, I laughed.

It was that bad that I laughed.

Kieran Richardson? Leandro Bacuna? Don’t get me started.

I do not understand how players like Grealish and Adama are told to sit on the bench, while Andre Green was left out. Surely they can’t do much worse than the inept ‘footballers’ – I use the word loosely – we have strolling around the pitch.

There was five changes to the 11 fielded against Chelsea last week in a last-ditch attempt to regain some dignity. Obviously, Alan Hutton was the first casualty of last week’s car crash, thanks to the red card he received. In came Bacuna for the Scotsman, as a chorus of boos followed. Richards (thank you Black), Sanchez, Gil and Gestede were all shipped out; with Clark, 20-year-old Lyden, Sinclair and Richardson coming in for the quartet. Yet none went on to make the slightest bit of difference as Villa fell to their eighth defeat in a row.

Black’s Game Management:

Any manager that picks Kieran Richardson automatically needs a talking to. Any manager that takes off Sinclair ahead of Kieran Richardson needs to re-evaluate why he is in management.

No disrespect to the man, I just don’t like Kieran Richardson.


I also don’t like the fact that it appeared that Black set up his team once again to get a point. No, we don’t need a draw. If you genuinely believe that you can keep Villa up, pick a team that looks like they are capable to win.

I do feel sorry for the man, no one would like to be labelled the manager, albeit temporary, of Aston Villa and I’m sure Black thinks “what the heck am I gonna do with this lot?”

Black did bring on Adama and Grealish eventually, but it was too little, too late. The story of Aston Villa’s season.

Ref Analysis:

Martin Atkinson was a card happy referee, but other than brandishing four yellows cards in a game filled with meaty challenges, he didn’t have much to do.

I’d say that in a season like Villa’s you’d think you’d be scrutinizing every decision the ref makes, trying to pass on the blame, but I can’t even do that.

The referees have had nothing to do with Villa’s plummet into England’s second tier. The players haven’t needed any help with that, they have done it all themselves.

Yes, occasionally you do need a bit of luck and a few decisions to go your way. But you earn that, and by no means have Villa earned any luck.

Rating: 7/10

Villa’s MOTM:

Sometimes I want to rename this accolade as ‘Worst Man of the Match’ but they all seem to battle it out for that award as “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” rang loud and clear around Villa Park.

Jordan Ayew just about stood out in a team full of useless, passionless players. He grabbed the consolation goal, and can be deemed as one of the only players that are fit to wear the shirt.

He runs tirelessly, covering every blade of grass laid at B6. Inevitably there are times when there is no end product, a mislaid pass or an angry, frustrated kick out. But, he cares. If the rest of the team was to follow by his and Gana’s example, we wouldn’t be able to complain.

All I ask as a fan is that the players give 100% each game, whether we win, lose or draw. If I can see that the players are trying and giving absolutely everything, I don’t care as much if we lose. Because I’ve seen something. Yet, there hasn’t been, if any, one game that I can really say that I’ve seen the whole team try.


I wish footballers didn’t have it so easy. If I was to only give 10% of my effort at work, I would be given the sack more than likely. Footballers, if they decide they can’t be bothered, still receive a big fact cheque at the end of the week. And as Lescott pointed out with his “accidental” tweet, no matter what the result, no matter how little he has tried, he goes back to his new car, his eight bedroom house and does not have to worry when his next pay-day is on the way. Now that makes me angry.

Rating: 5/10

Bournemouth’s MOTM:

Unfortunately, it was a game where an average side and an even worse side met, where none of the opposition player’s had to break sweat once again.

Josh King and Steve Cook played well for the visitors as they grabbed the goals that defeated Villa, but Dan Gosling looked good in the middle for the Cherries.

He broke up the play up in the middle of the park, started the attacks and defended well. Maybe Ashley Westwood could take some notes from his counterpart.

Rating: 6/10


Follow Molly on Twitter at @m0llyfaith 

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  1. Black continues to drone on about ‘maintaining our professionalism’ when no-one at Villa seems to understand the meaning of the word. We are wasting time. We need to appoint a manager right now (Moyes by prefernce or Pearson) who can identify which of the tossers on the pitch should stay, which should be sold (good luck there) and which should be consigned to the third team forever or just be paid off. The poison in the dressing room needs to be got rid of. Several money-grabbing mercenaries should be put on gardening leave (Guzan, Richards, Lescott, Richardson, Agbonlahor, Bacuna) or should never be allowed to play for Villa again.

  2. Again people still don’t get it ,10,20,30,or even 80 grand a week this garbage still get payed in full a win bonus dosent matter to them .It’s us the loyal obsessed deluded call us what you will villians who should make these blogs talk about us not those who don’t care and who will want away come the hour ,my protests and action time has now passed I except my fate i’v decided to think only happy thoughts so as I sip a coffee and eat a full English it’s fan time stuff the Muppets bring on the championship lots of derbies to invigerate the season so as always stay loyal to yourself keep the faith and Villa till we die

  3. “Give something back to the fans” says Eric Black. I wasn’t expecting him to give us Leandro Bacuna back. And Richardson for God’s sake?????? Who cares if playing at least one of Grealish or Traore from the start would have weakened the team – it was what we bloody wanted.

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